Most major manufacturers are jumping into the connected wearables market in some way or another, whether that’s with a smartwatch or virtual reality headsets. Toshiba is no exception, and they showed off a new pair of smart glasses at a trade show in Japan this week.
The glasses, called Toshiba Glass, work similarly to Google Glass, but there’s a small difference; there’s a small projector built into the side of the arm of the glasses, right behind the lens. The result is a pretty bulky, goofy looking device, but it’s reportedly quite a bit cheaper than Google Glass, so there’s an advantage. The project displays information on the lens of the glasses, which is then reflected onto the person’s eyes. Again, not quite as sophisticated as Google Glass, but pricing plays a big role here.
In the market for a new laptop? We should mention giving a Chromebook a look. In the next several months leading up to the holiday season, there are going to be an abundance of Chrome OS devices released. The Chromebook 2, from Toshiba, is currently available through Amazon.
There are two models and both feature a 13.3-inch display. The base model’s display has a resolution of 1366×768 while upgrading raises this to 1920×1080. Regardless, you get an Intel Celeron N2840 processor. The upgraded model takes the base 2GB of RAM up to 4GB. Battery life for the base model is estimated at eleven hours and the 1080p display of the more expensive Chromebook 2 lowers it to about nine hours.
Source: Amazon [Base Model Link - $249] [Upgraded Model Link - $364]
One of Microsoft’s biggest threats has been Google’s Chromebook line. Chromebooks have been relatively cheap and functional, primarily using the Chrome web browser for “apps.” Since Google doesn’t charge high licensing fees for Chrome OS, and they’ve marketed the simplicity and virus-immunity heavily against traditional Windows laptops, Chromebooks have been steadily eating Microsoft’s laptop market share from the bottom up.
With Project Ara getting closer to its supposed release in 2015, many are wondering who will supply the parts for the devices. It turns out that the maker of processors for the device will be Toshiba, which is surprising considering the saturation of the market by the like of Qualcomm, MediaTek and Intel.
Toshiba will be providing three different processors for Google, for modules and for the phone itself. Reportedly, the partnership between the two companies started back in October 2013, resulting in the creation of chips that can “accurately control the flow of data and electrical signals between the modules and the phone itself.”
So far we have only heard of Project Ara smartphones, but couldn’t the concept also apply to wearables? According to Toshiba Senior VP and Technology Executive, Shardul Kazi, the answer is yes.
While at the Ara Developer Conference, Kazi showed the above slide that represents a module being removed from the phone and inserted into a smartwatch. At this point in the game, this is just a concept and not in development. Assuming consumers adopt this “module” way of thinking, you can clearly see that it’s inevitable that Project Ara could be used for so many other things, including wearables.
The latest Chrome OS laptop to go on sale is the Toshiba Chromebook. Announced back in September, it is available through Toshiba’s online store or through some retailers including Amazon. If you choose to go with Toshiba’s online store, this Chromebook will set you back $299.99; however, Amazon is carrying it for $279.99. Inside is Intel’s Celeron Processor 2955U (Haswell). There are two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port. On the device’s page, Toshiba claims you can get up to nine hours of battery life. Not too bad, right?
Hit the source link if you are interested in picking one up. Remember, Amazon is selling it for $20 less!
Source: Toshiba, Amazon
Toshiba’s latest stab at the budget tablet market is the Excite 7, a 7 inch tablet running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The biggest selling point of the Excite is its $99 price tag, which means you’re definitely getting $99 specs. It’s powered by a dual-core Rockchip CPU and 1 GB of RAM with a 1024 x 600 screen. The Excite has 8 GB of onboard memory, plus a microSD card slot. They’re not screaming specs, but the device runs relatively stock Android, so it’s not having to chug through unnecessary bloatware.
At first glance, the device really seems like it performs well for the price range and specs it has, which is always a good sign. You can watch our hands video past the break, and be sure to keep up with the rest of our CES coverage.
Toshiba is set to launch a brand new camera module with unique hardware which will refocus all of the photos you take on your smartphone. Known as the TCM9518MD, the module packs dual 5MP sensors and a separate processing chip which will capture all image and depth data in a picture. With this new technology, Toshiba says that consumers will soon be able to take pictures that are not currently possible with normal lenses.
The TCM9518MD is currently being shipped to phone manufacturers right now for testing, and the module should hit the market in devices within the next year (perhaps in the HTC One+).
Hit the break for the full press release, and remember to check out the rest of our CES 2014 coverage.
Toshiba is making waves in the smartphone camera industry, as the manufacturer just announced a dual-5MP camera module which generate a 13MP image through upscaling. With this development, the camera can be thinner than current 13MP cameras. Smartphones will be able to be made thinner as a result as well.
The dual camera unit also comes with a companion chip which will allow for the simultaneous recording of both image and depth information. The depth data will be applied to objects captured in the image— the result will be somewhat of a stereo-3D image.
While Toshiba hasn’t announced any particular release date on the module, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it and how smartphone manufacturers will adapt to the new camera technology.
Hit the break for the full press release below.
Toshiba has unveiled a new tablet that will put them back into the 7-inch market. The Excite 7 joins Toshiba’s Excite Pure, Excite Pro and Excite Write as their smaller sibling. Weighing in at 12.4 ounces, the Excite 7 packs a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, 0.3MP front facing camera, and 3MP rear camera while Android 4.2.2 runs the show. Toshiba touts enhanced stereo speakers, 12 hours of general use / 7.5 hours of video playback, and microSD support. Toshiba’s Excite 7 is priced at $169.99 and is available today through Amazon and Toshiba’s website. But be aware that Toshiba has not made the device’s storage known just yet.